805sig is better; in a different class.
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I'll bite and say the sig 805's, and for several reasons. First, the CDM9NT's do not go much lower than the 805's. Second, the 805 sigs. sound better. Third, they will be easier to place in the room. Fourth, they are easier to drive. Fifth, the CDM9NT has been replaced by the 704. And finally, you'll own one of the best loudspeakers made by one of the largest and most revered loudspeakers companies in the world.
On the upside for the 9NT's I'd have to say they go a little lower in frequency, have that very cool surroundless piston midrange driver, will play louder, and you might find them significantly discounted by some dealers.
What shape is your room? What kind of music do you listen to? I just awoke so I can't tell you the formula for finding the resonance of your room but look at it like this. Let's say that your room resonates at 47 Hz like ours does , then the 805's without eq will begin to roll off around 80hz and be 4 or 5 dB down at our rooms resonance. With the typical room gain around 28 Hz our the 805 signature would measure and sound more linear than the 9NT's in the bass because some of the peak resonance is removed compared to a speaker that goes flat down to that frequency. Now if you were to put the 9NT's in the same spot, that same 47 Hz resonance would ring like the dickens since the 9NT's bass response is flat to about that point. It might sound like better bass response, and it is in some ways, but measuring it and trying to fix it will make your hair fall out unless you add sometype of parametric EQ. I hope all this makes sence or it is one of those hear-me-now-understand-me-later things. Just remember to relax and have fun.
I would imagine the Sigs and I own the CDM-9NTs.
Dont get me wrong the CDM-9NT is an awesome speaker. I whole-heartedly endorse it.
The real question might be is the Sig805 better than the N804? Since they cost about the same. Some folks like monitors. I do think monitors image better. Some folks like floorstanders, bigger box = better/deeper bass, for the most part anyway.
An audition would tell, but I imagine the N804s would the ones that stayed, if it wwere my money on the line.
I've auditioned the 805sigs and the N802's in my friends system which consisted of an ML dac/transport, krell pre and aragon palladium mono's(4). Speaker wire was cardas golden cross and the room is 22x16 with 10' ceilings. The 805sigs imaged better, throwing a deep, wide and high soundstage and the N802's had more impact. With the addition of a rel sub we both prefered the 805sigs. Now, he's thinking about selling his N802's and either buying the 801sigs or 805sigs. I originally owned "stock" N805's and was looking to upgrade and listened to speakers from about a dosen different manufacturers including the new B&W 704's. When I heard the 805sigs I was blown away and this was a speaker that I was not considering. Even my wife, who is not an audiphile, loved them. She said that the sound was good enough to look the other way when it came to the black finish. She hates black speakers. Now I'm hearing things that I never heard before. I've been going through my music, and movie collection, and listening to things that I have not picked up in years.
A few weeks ago, I had another friend over and we were watching a show on TV and he turned to my and said that we must be watching in surround sound because he was hearing things behind him. My reply "this is in two channel stereo!" Then I put on DSOTM while we were talking and every couple of minutes he would stop and ask me to replay a track. He was telling me that he was hearing things in the recording that he had never heard before. Now he's going to spend his tax return on a modest 2 channel rig and a pair of 805sigs. We went over to the local B&W dealer and put down a deposit on a pair last week. BTW his current system consists of a pioneer receiver, sony CDP and a pair of Kef Q55's.
Anyway, I'm rambling on now. Give the 805sigs and listen and judge for your self.
Goodness gracious 4 out of 4 chose the Signatures over the 9nt! I'm amazed people actually preferred this little standmount, and whatmore 'upgrading' from the N802 to this cute little S805? Wow man...
Anyway I will be going to the B&W showroom and have a listen to myself maybe end of this week. Looking for a used pair since the price for a brand new one cost a bomb. Apparently those dealers are also using Classe amplification to drive all their complete range of B&W's so good for me.
And Keith, the terms you used are too technical but anyway get what you mean.
In my opinion, there is probably a fair balance of pros and cons between these two that require a personal listen, as you intend. I contemplated the same issue and ended up w/ the floorstander since I deemed it to be more kid-proof. I had visions of spectacular topples. I even dreamed of a stand-related bowling contest. Yikes.
I own a pair of Cdm-9nt's as the fronts in my 7.1 HT set-up, they shine w/ a Bryston 250 wpc 4b-st. And really come to life w/ 500 wpc Bryston 7b-st's. Sam Telling gave these speakers a bad rep., mighty underrated!!! Like Sleeping Beauty, they just need a little more power to wake them up! The Sound Anchor craddle stands also make a major difference. They dog a pair of regular N805's, after 300 hours of breakin! At $2600.00 list the 9's are the Underdog in the B&W stable, & worthy of additional auditioning.